As sophisticated surveillance solutions become more cost-effective and accessible, organizations are leveraging them to both protect their people and improve operations. In the past several years, there have been major advancements in artificial intelligence, application integrations and cybersecurity for surveillance systems. Because of these advancements, we are identifying more problems that can be solved using surveillance systems every day! This article will give you insights into what is coming and how it is likely to impact you.
Top Trends in Surveillance
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence continues to drive innovation across industries. With surveillance, better AI improves detection, analysis, and classification accuracy so that systems can confidently trigger automated workflows based on their observations. These improvements in surveillance analytic abilities translate to greater functionality like precise measurements and gesture identification. Example use cases for the improved functions include automated reporting of policy/process compliance during physical operations and detecting movements that indicate physical altercations, injuries and active shooter scenarios are occurring. The improved classifications also make investigations more efficient by allowing users to perform advanced searches based on specific criteria (ex: querying for someone in a red shirt or a specific face or license plate).
The pandemic has also sparked more interest in AI surveillance solutions. People are using AI-based video analytics to monitor mask usage, social distancing and occupancy levels. In these deployments, automated alerts and signage are triggered to request employees/visitors to follow mask and social distancing guidelines in facilities.
2. Edge Processing
Reductions in microchip sizes have enabled cameras to provide more advanced processing (detection capabilities) right on-board the camera (“at the edge”). This means the processing and analysis involved in the detection of a “trigger action” by the surveillance system is done without even having to transmit the data to the server. This matters because it greatly reduces the time needed to detect and initiate a response to a scenario or problem. Before, the camera had to send compressed video to the server for the pixels and frames to be analyzed. Now, that processing is all done instantly on the device and surveillance solutions can immediately trigger actions based on what they detect.
Cyberattacks on surveillance systems can cause two massive problems for users. The first is the exposing of sensitive video footage from your surveillance network. We have seen this happen recently inside hospitals and Fortune 500 companies where leaked footage of their patients and employees was made publicly available on the internet. This is a privacy nightmare and also leaves organizations severely vulnerable to corporate espionage and intellectual property theft. The second problem is that surveillance device breaches often give the attacker access inside the organization’s network. This can lead to ransomware attacks and the deployment of network resources in botnet attacks. You can expect to see improvements in surveillance device cyber hardening, including methods to protect the data collected, compliance regulations, and industry performance standards.
Dahua and Hikvision cameras were deployed like wildfire over the last decade due to their cheap cost with above average performance. They’ve now been banned for use at any Federal facilities based on their system vulnerabilities and tight ties with foreign government operations. Organizations of all sizes are recommended to update their cameras firmware immediately and to switch to different brands of cameras as quickly as possible.
4. Application Integration
Today’s business consumer demands maximum value out of their investments. Having an open architecture security platform that allows for multiple surveillance application integrations will deliver the greatest ROI. Surveillance and access control system integrations are becoming standard in most critical infrastructure facilities because of the efficiencies they bring to security operations. Surveillance integrations with building automation systems are also being adopted to reduce building operation expenses and the experience for employees/visitors.
Surveillance sensors come in so many form factors and varieties now because of the different things that need to be monitored and analyzed. Thermal and LiDAR are two of the most rapid-growing sensor types. They’re primarily used for detecting people/objects and anomalies in environments as well as measuring and mapping.
5. Cloud-based Solutions
The benefits of cloud technology in video surveillance are significant. Cloud-based solutions provide endless storage, incredible data processing power, higher security and constant data redundancy. While some organizations are still uncomfortable putting sensitive surveillance footage in the cloud, it is still the system architecture we see most organizations migrating to. They’re moving because cloud solutions deliver increased data security, streamlined maintenance, advanced data reporting, remote access, storage flexibility, multi-site (federated) management, and faster disaster recovery all at a lower cost than on-premises systems.
6. Contactless Access with Facial Recognition
COVID-19 has moved many industries towards contactless facial recognition based access. These facial recognition based biometric access control solutions are integrated with automatic doors and turnstiles to provide contactless access to areas within a facility. Cameras read a user’s face then trigger the access control system to unlock the door and the automatic operator to engage so the door is opened without any contact with a door handle. Adding a card swipe or mobile credential swipe to the same facial recognition process gives you two-factor authentication as well for highly secure areas. One detriment to this approach is that it can often lead to tailgating since the door remains open for longer period of time when it automatically opens and closes. Anti-tailgating solutions should be put in place when contactless entry solutions are used in high security environments.
2021 Video Surveillance Summary
To recap, the demand for smart surveillance solutions that provide improvements in both security and operational efficiency will grow exponentially over the next decade. Sensors will be deployed across industries that can monitor, measure, analyze, and trigger responses to a wide variety of scenarios. As you deploy new surveillance solutions, you must be a steward of the data captured, stored, and shared to ensure compliance with data privacy regulations and avoid data breaches.
HSJ has insight into where the surveillance industry is headed and which solutions will solve your organization’s biggest challenges. Whether you need a system evaluation, redesign, or are expanding your facilities, HSJ’s experienced team can guide you through the entire process from planning and design through implementation and operations. Contact our team today for an initial consultation!